As soon as I started looking for Turkish recipes on line, this one came up again and again and again. Funny, we didn’t see it when we were there! I guess it’s considered “home cooking” and not restaurant fare. Most of the recipes were quite similar but some called for this, and some called for that. I looked at a bunch and put in pretty much everything that got mentioned. We thought the results were delicious.
We grew the beans for this; an Italian variety. Italian Borlotti beans will be the easiest to get, and my impression is they are really quite similar to the Turkish beans used for this. But really, beans is beans to some degree, and you can use whatever kind you like.
It seems that right from the beginning of this blog there has been at least one bean salad recipe every late winter/early spring, and I guess this qualifies as one for this year.
4 to 6 servings
1 hour prep time plus overnight soaking
1 cup dried borlotti or cranberry beans
1 or 2 medium potatoes
1 large carrot
1 medium onion
1/2 cup diced celeriac OR 1 stalk celery
4 or 5 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups diced cooked (canned) tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 teaspoon rubbed mint
2 tablespoons chopped parsley OR green onion
Put the beans in a pot with plenty of water to cover, and bring to a boil. The pot will end up holding everything, so be sure it is big enough. Boil for a few minutes, then remove them from the heat and cover the pot. Let soak overnight.
Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the beans, and bring them back up to a boil. Boil gently but steadily, stirring occasionally, until tender but still whole.
Wash, trim, and peel the potatoes (the peeling is optional). Cut them into dice. Peel and dice the carrot. Peel and chop the onion. Peel and dice the celeriac, or wash, trim, and chop the celery. Peel and chop the garlic.
Heat about half the oil in a large skillet. Add the potatoes, carrots, and celery and cook slowly in the oil until softened and slightly browned; add the onions about halfway through.
Meanwhile, drain the beans to have about 1 cup cooking liquid left. Add the remaining olive oil to them. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, pepper, Aleppo pepper, and mint to them. Bring them up to a simmer.
When the vegetables in the skillet are looking somewhat softened – they will not cook through; don’t expect them to – add the garlic to the pan and mix in, letting it cook for a minute or two. Transfer all the vegetables to the pot of beans. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir gently. The vegetables and beans should be kept as whole as you can manage.
When the vegetables are tender, remove the pot from the heat and add the juice of 1/2 of the lemon. Let it cool to warm or room temperature before serving. Garnish it with chopped parsley or green onion, and pass the remainder of the lemon as wedges for anyone who would like a bit more lemon juice.
Last year at this time I made Moroccan Spiced Roasted Carrots.